The topic of women empowerment has always gained momentum on the global stage and in every nation around the globe as still women are deprived of getting the proper rights and opportunities that they must get. Women empowerment represents the actions to take and implement to make them empowered financially, mentally, physically, and in many terms to reduce the gender gap and inequality that has been deep-rooted in society.
Without the participation of women, no development is possible. Sustainable economic growth and development are unthinkable without women's empowerment. Women empowerment is not the process of giving lawful rights to women. It’s their instinctive right to get but women empowerment means to empower every woman residing in the society, nation to stand against the comforts and raise the voice and implement the actions for the better good of all. In fact, gender inclusivity is the reason and the major driving factor of societal development and progress. No society has developed with just the participation of one gender. Many developed countries like the USA, New Zealand are in the peak stage of development thanks to gender inclusion and the equal participation of both men and women.
There’s no doubt that women are known for their contribution to the economy in the form of business, entrepreneurial ventures, and unpaid labor (household chores, low wages facility, etc). Many large corporations, financial institutions are being led by women that earn billions per month. Great investors like Muriel Siebert, Abby Joseph Cohen, CEOs like Martine Rothblatt, Abigail Johnson, all are women. These are just a few names from the ocean. These women have proven that women empowerment is a must to welcome development and progress in full phase.
Mental health is also deeply associated with empowerment. Gender discrimination, depriving of getting personal rights followed by poverty and other vulnerable exploitations impact the women’s mental health. Most of the evidence has often proven that women who earn more are subject to contribute to their children’s education, family health, enhancing the living standard along with the economic growth of the country. One of the major methods for improving the mental health of women is the change in social attitudes. If the society openly welcomes the factors of women empowerment and gasps the process of equal rights and equal opportunities, no restrictions can be made to the women and they can function their works and actions without any such traditional challenges.
Some many studies and theories have approached various factors and stages for women's empowerment. For instance, Longwe’s framework includes the five stages of women empowerment namely,
- Welfare- Adequate and healthy nutrition, physical activity, entertainment, sleep, free residence, kindness, lack of violence, self-confidence, self-reliance, etc.
- Access- Employment, finance, education, services, social dignity, respect, etc.
- Knowledge- Discrimination, multi-roles, social insecurity, judgments, independence, social stigma, citizenship rights, authority, and responsibility, etc.
- Participation- Policies and law-making, political roles, decision-making, fighting for rights, social link, effective social participation, etc.
- Control- Power, the institutionalization of participation, power balance, reducing inequalities, etc.
Women empowerment can be fostered more if women tend to participate in decision-making, policymaking, startups, business ideas, and economic growth. Women leaders are more inclined towards making the best decisions for the organization and the country too. Education and awareness are two of the most important factors to bring change in the traditional mindset of the people that women's participation should not be counted.
There should be more investment in the women’s entrepreneurial ideas, ventures, and their skill development and the unpaid and mismatched labor work should be removed and necessary actions should be taken. Mentoring programming in terms of professional and personal development should be done to empower each woman. These are just a few aforementioned recommendations to make women financially and mentally empowered. If the women are empowered financially, they can handle any challenges and difficulties, and no doubt, their mental health also improves.
Now it’s time to break the barriers of discrimination and traditional mindset but it’s the best chance to explore and generate more programs more advocating equal opportunities for women. Furthermore, women should personally know to invest in themselves in terms of knowledge, skills, rights, and policies. Because women empowerment is all about powering oneself, and others.
It’s time to promote financial inclusivity and empower oneself and everyone in the global platform. Because without empowerment, the gender gap and economic inequality can’t be removed. And to make the world a better place, we need the participation of both men and women.
So, fuel yourself with immense knowledge, skills and empower yourself and everyone too!